|Title||Voicing or Instrumentation||Type||Description||Duration|
|Above the Green Night||Guitar quartet||Chamber|
Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Poem of the Deep Song” is steeped in strong, beautiful imagery of love and death. I took some of these images as points of departure for Above the Green Night. The first movement, Blind Archers, is fast and unsettled like a chase, interspersed with two brief dream-like sections. Each player is given a chance to rest and sing in the second movement, Hour of Stars.
Commissioned by The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet
|Alma Beata et Bella||SSATB a cappella||Choral|
Commissioned by the Rose Ensemble with major funding support provided by a grantfrom the Jerome Foundation facilitated by fiscal agency from the Schubert Club.Additional funding provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.
|Amy Lowell: A Rare Pattern||Mezzo-soprano and piano||Opera & Drama|
An excerpt from program notes by mezzo-soprano KrisAnne Weiss:
Early 20th-century poet Amy Lowell was an unforgettable figure: at five feet tall and 250 pounds, she smoked cigars in public, captivated audiences with her theatrical speeches and poetry readings, and relished the attention she attracted. This collection of songs is excerpted from a longer theatrical work which explores Amy's life and her relationship with actress Ada Dwyer Russel. With the exception of one or two sentences, the entire libretto of this piece is comprised of Amy's juvenilia, poetry, prose, and epistolary exchanges with other writers. There are also letters she wrote to "Nell," the actress and arts patron Eleanor Robson Belmont, who was one of Ada's closest friends. Unfortunately for modern literary voyeurs, scholars, and would-be librettists, Amy requested that the letters she exchanged with Ada be destroyed upon her death. Ada honored this wish, thus depriving us of the most important firsthand account of Amy and Ada's dynamic. It seems, however, that the voice that Amy reserved for Ada comes through in the poetry, and this passionate and tender voice forms the heart of these songs.
|Apparent Solids||Mezzo-soprano, flute (doubling piccolo), percussion, violin, viola, cello||Solo Voice|
These poems, by Minnesota poet Joan Wolf Prefontaine, offered many wonderful coloristic possibilities and deal with very deep, emotional aspects of life and the passage of time. Ideas of life as both circular and linear informed my musical decisions in Apparent Solids. The cycle opens with a piccolo tune that represents ‘the boy.’ The cycle also ends with the piccolo tune, so it sounds as if the piece could begin all over again. The cycle incorporates music that is circular and repetitive as well as music that is very linear—where the listener is not sure where the next turn will be.
|Bells, The||SATTB or SSATB a cappella||Choral|
Originally written for SATTB one-on-a-part, this sprightly and tintinnabular piece works well for both large and small choirs. It’s a setting of one of Edgar Allen Poe’s more cheerful poems, and is well-suited for holiday programming.
December 11, 2000, Schubert Club Concert, Abbott Northwestern Hospital Chapel, Minneapolis, MN;
December 17, 2000, Minnesota History Center, St. Paul, MN;
December 28, 2000, University Children’s Hospital, Minneapolis, MN
|Between the Limbs, Music||Soprano and piano||Solo Voice|
"Between the Limbs, Music" is a set of four songs that deal with themes of love, life and death. "The Book of Hungers" establishes the idea that we are all connected by our mortality and desire for love. "Hummingbird" moves into the wonderful realm of young love—pure, fantastic passion. "Autumn Dusk" is about mature love – a love that has endured. "Between the Limbs, Music" reflects on the paradox of life – there cannot be joy without sorrow, passion without solitude or life and love without death to drive us forward, make us yearn. It ends with a soaring “ah” – an expression of joy and passion.
View the videos above on Edie's Youtube channel.
for Carolyn Campfield
|Bike Let Loose, The||SSAA and piano||Choral|
A bright, athletic piece for treble choir and piano. "The Bike Let Loose" uses rapid notes and soaring melodic lines to create a fantastical ride for both singer and listener.
This work was co-commissioned as a special project in the year 2004 by the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota and the Minnesota Music Educators Association
|Birthday, A||SATB div. a cappella||Choral|
"A Birthday" was composed for Floyd Farmer and the Camerata Singers of West Michigan in commemoration of their 25th Anniversary. The Christina Rosetti poem is about a birthday, and its many references to silver were perfectly suited to a “silver” anniversary. I played with the birds in the poem by weaving bird songs throughout the piece, which begins with the women’s voices chirping “cherry up cherry dee.” The Muskegon Chronicle called the piece “delicate and sprightly with a foundation of dignified solemnity.”
Commissioned by The Camerata Singers of West Michiganfor their 25th Anniversary Concert
|Blue Jewel||Flute/Alto Flute, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Piano, Electric Guitar, Contrabass||Chamber|
“Blue Jewel” is a small snap-shot of a huge idea. This idea is the experience between a "zoomed out" versus "zoomed in" view of the window. Close up, one sees how striking and arresting the images are. Further out, the violence of the battle between Carnival and Lent obscures slightly as one backs away - like the famous image of Earth from space and how existence on this planet (close up) can be tumultuous - war, extinction, political unrest, climate change - but from far away, Earth is a perfect blue jewel floating in space.
|Bow Echo||Solo amplified cello||Solo Instrumental|
I often use a non-musical idea as a point of departure. In the case of Bow Echo, this idea came in the form of a lightning bolt on a Sunday morning in July. Lightning struck my house, blowing a hole in the roof, splitting wood in the eves, taking out all electrical outlets and appliances. I was blown away by the power of the storm, and Bow Echo was born. A Bow Echo is a formation of storm clouds that usually spawn severe storms with high winds, hail, dangerous lightning and possible tornadoes. The three movements follow the life of a storm from slow approach to violent rage to eerie calm.
For Libby Larsen
|Butterfly Effect||Solo Piano // Flute in C (doubling alto flute and piccolo), Oboe, Clarinet in Bb (doubling bass clarinet), Bassoon, // Horn in F, Trumpet in Bb, Tenor Trombone // 2 Percussion (suspended cym., tam tam, marimba, vibes, xyl., snare drum, 4 tom toms, claves, bass drum) // Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Violoncello, Contrabass||Instrumental|
Commissioned for Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble under the auspices of a McKnight Artist Fellowship and Jerome Composer Fellowship.
"The edge of chaos is where life has enough
|Cancion de el Alma: en una noche escura||SATB divisi||Choral|
Cancion de el Alma: en una noche escura was commissioned by Classical Minnesota Public Radio for the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and premiered at the Cathedral of Saint Paul on November 22, 2013 (recorded by MPR). Hailed as a "masterpiece" (Chicago Tribune), the piece has since received its European premiere in February/March 2015 by the Nederlands Kamerkoor under the direction of Daniel Reuss.
The text, often referred to as “The Dark Night of the Soul” is one in a trilogy of poems written by 16th century Spanish mystic St John of the Cross. The message of the poem that I found most moving is the idea of allowing the fire that burns in my heart to guide me.
|Circle of the River||SS & percussion||Choral|
This piece explores the linear and cyclical aspects of flowing water, and pays homage to the great Mississippi River. The linear and cyclical parts of the piece mimic the flow of the river from one point to another and the cycle of rain and evaporation that happens simultaneously. It was commissioned by the American Composers Forum for Minnesota’s Sesquicentennial, and premiered at the Minnesota State Fair by the Minneapolis Youth Chorus.
|Clay Jug||SATB div. a cappella||Choral|
Taken from the larger work A Sound Like This, "Clay Jug" was originally written for 9 male voices. This arrangement incorporates treble voices and calls for the listener to reflect on all of the wonders that are contained within us. We are all the "Clay Jug". We are sturdy, strong, breakable and fragile. All seven oceans are inside, and hundreds of millions of stars...
This SATB setting of "Clay Jug" was commissioned by Dr. Robert Bode for the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory Singers
Premiered by The First Readings Project, J. David Moore; conductor
|Cold Blue Night||Solo flute||Solo Instrumental|
Cold Blue Night for solo flute came into being shortly after I moved to Minnesota and braved my first upper-midwest winter. It was inspired by the kind of Minnesota night when the sky is dark, dark blue, the temperature is well below zero, and a full moon lights the snow with a pearl-blue glow. It is beautiful, pristine, yet cruel and dangerous. This piece explores the harshness and the soft beauty of a frigid mid-winter night.
Commissioned and premiered by Wendy Greenwald Matthews, flutist
|Dazzle of Day||SATB div., S, A, T soloists, solo guitar||Choral|
Pablo Neruda’s poem, “Deslumbra el dia” (Dazzle of Day), finds beauty in simple things like smells and sounds in the air, drying clothes in the wind, and taking a breath. I wanted to capture its joy in my music. The idea of a continuously moving, shimmering color became the structural core of the piece. The color begins subtly in the tenors as the words unfold in the foreground. The color weaves in and out of the text, remaining in the background until the very end when all voices join in, as it becomes a huge, wordless expression of joy.
Commissioned and premiered by The Dale Warland Singers.
|Dog from Duluth||SATB a cappella||Choral|
In the late 1990s, I walked into a pet store to purchase dog food for my German Shepherd, Louie. I left with dog food and a new friend for Louie. Gobi was found roaming the streets of Duluth, MN and he was up for adoption at the pet store. I adopted him on the spot, grabbed the food and our family was one being bigger. In 2010 I wrote this text as a journal entry while watching my sweet Gobi follow me with his soft brown eyes. He was in his last days and I had a commission to compose a piece about dogs or cats for the South Bend Chamber Singers. I took the opportunity to write “Dog From Duluth,” celebrating Gobi and rejoicing in the precious, innocent spirits that are our animals.
Commissioned and premiered by the South Bend Chamber Singers, Nancy Menk, conductor.
|Draw the Strings Tight||Solo guitar||Solo Instrumental|
I wrote this piece just after finishing "A Sound Like This," and I was still very much absorbed with the writings of 15th-century Indian mystic/poet Kabir. This piece is based on phrases and ideas from "He Draws the Strings Tight." I was especially focused on the phrase, "Open the window to the West of you," using this image to inspire music about being open, anticipating the future and seeing what might be outside yourself. Each movement contrasts the others. The last movement is especially grand--I wanted to show the breadth and depth of the guitar as an instrument.
Commissioned and premiered by Kenneth Meyer under the auspices of the Argosy Foundation.
Premiered August, 1989 by the Ives Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Danbury, CT
|Fenix, The||SATB div. a cappella||Choral|
Commissioned and premiered by the Rose Ensemble with funding provided by the Jerome Foundationand special support from the Schubert Club.
|Flights of Fancy||Solo cello||Solo Instrumental|
This piece is made up of three little fantasies for solo cello.
Commissioned by Eliot T. Bailen for the Sherman Chamber Ensemble.
|For God So Loved the World||SATB and piano||Choral|
It was commissioned in 2001 for Pastor Douglas R. Roper, on the occasion of his retirement from Minnewashta Church, Shorewood, Minnesota. Pastor Roper, who sang in his church choir, had been rehearsing the piece for weeks without knowing it was a special commission or even a new piece. On his last Sunday, it was announced that the piece had been written in his honor.
Premiered by: The Minnewashta Church Choir, Shorewoood, MN
|From Me and America Sent||TTBB and piano||Choral||05:00|
|From the Wingbone of a Swan||SATB Chorus with flute, cello, marimba, and drum||Choral|
Commissioned and premiered by the Valborg Choir on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.
|Give Me the Deeper Pearls||SATB a cappella||Choral|
This setting of a poem by Annabelle Moseley is about the beauty of love and its vulnerabilities. I love how the poem explores the potential for love to be both a safe resting place and a place of deep heartache. This, I think, is “the honest mystery of things.”
Commissioned and premiered by the Rock Valley College Chamber Singers -Paul Laprade, conductor.
|Giver of Stars: Six Poems of Amy Lowell, The||Mezzo-Soprano and Piano||Solo Voice|
"The Giver of Stars" is excerpted from a larger theatrical work entitled Amy Lowell: A Rare Pattern. Lowells’s life as a poet and how it was woven into her life with the actress, Ada Dwyer Russell, fascinated me. Lowell’s stern exterior is counterpoint to a tender-heartedness and vulnerability which she shared with her beloved Ada. This cycle represents the arc of their love and life together.
Dedicated to the artistry of Glenda Maurice
|High Plains Revelry||Symphony orchestra||Instrumental|
Commissioned by the Harrington Cancer Center to celebrate their 10th Anniversary
|Icarian Songs||Oboe and piano||Chamber|
This piece is based on the ancient Greek myth of Icarus. The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall to his death in the Aegean Sea. I was inspired by the reach for something dangerous and possibly fatal—I believe it’s always better to reach, even if there is great risk involved.
|Il Cantico delle Creature||SATB chamber chorus a cappella||Choral||15:00|
|Illuminated Transience, An||SATB a cappella||Choral|
Commissioned and premiered by Cantori, Robert Cowles, DirectorHobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York.
|Jambalaya Stomp||Concert band||Instrumental|
Jambalaya Stomp began to simmer in the fall of 2005 after meeting with members of the Orono (MN) All-District Bands. These students were brimming with enthusiasm and ideas. Our discussion produced concepts like “low and loud,” “slow and flowing,” “fast with a driving rhythm,” “jazzy” and having the piece tell a story about something happening in the world today, like hurricane Katrina. I kept a list of these ideas on my piano to inspire me. The students gave me the recipe for this jambalaya! The piece is about collaboration and coming together to face a challenge.
Commissioned by Orono Band Patrons of Music
|Jammin' Town Musicians, The||Flute (doubling piccolo)*, Bb clarinet, bassoon ( doubling contrabassoon)*, french horn, tenor trombone, narrator, percussion, violin, cello*, bass* (*instrumentalists double on found percussion)||Chamber||09:00|
|Land Meeting Sky||Flute and cello||Chamber|
For Susan Rotholz and Eliot T. Bailen, 1987
|Little Lovely Dream, A||SATTB a cappella||Choral||04:30|
|Marvellous Error!||Unison chorus & TTB semi-chorus||Choral||03:30|
|Marvellous Error!||SATB a cappella||Choral|
The text of Marvellous Error is an Antonio Machado poem translated by Robert Bly. The piece plays with the idea of wakefulness and dreaming, what is true and what is fantasy, and the suggestion that perhaps what is in our dreams may be our reality as well.
SATB version arranged for Nathaniel Barnett and premiered at the Uncommon Music Festival in 2019.
|Mi Sheberach, A Prayer for Healing||Solo baritone and unison chorus or congregation||Choral|
Mi Sheberach is a prayer for healing. The piece is written in antiphonal style for baritone solo and congregation or choir (a unison line).
|Music of the Sphere, Aria and Dance||Treble voices, harp, percussion, piano||Instrumental|
Commissioned by choreographer Rosanna Gamson
|Poem for 2084||SSAATTBB a cappella||Choral|
Commissioned by the Dale Warland Singers (New Choral Music Reading Program)
|Prelude and Allegro||Trumpet and piano||Chamber|
Premiered June, 1985 at Bennington College, Bennington, VT
|Prelude: Before Dawn||TTBB a cappella||Choral||00:45|
|Prelude: Dusk, Fantasy: The Night Sky||Flute (doubling alto flute), cello and harp||Chamber|
I have always loved to watch the sky. This piece is about the fading light at dusk and the magical opening up of the sky at night. The prelude is scored for alto flute, harp and cello and is meant to convey a grounded, earthly feel. The prelude ends with the first star (illustrated with a harp harmonic). The fantasy takes off into the cavern that opens up when the sun goes down. As our eyes adjust to the dark, we are able to see more and more. The piece ends with the morning star—again illustrated by harmonics in the harp.
Commissioned by Eliot T. Bailen for the Sherman Chamber Ensemble
|Questo Muro||Mezzo-Soprano and piano||Solo Voice|
A lush and passionate setting of Anita Barrows' poem about overcoming loss and facing personal challenges
In Questo Muro, Anita Barrows adopts Dante's striking image of one person confronted by fear and trepidation, symbolized by a wall of flame. She asks:
Will you pass through it now, will you let it consume
Edie's challenging setting features dramatic lines elegantly soaring over surging piano figures reminiscent of fire.
|Rückblick||Solo Piano||Solo Instrumental|
Commissioned by Ann DuHamel with funds provided by University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Award.
Rückblick, takes its inspiration from two pieces of Brahms. The first is the Intermezzo Op. 119, No. 1, nicknamed “The Gray Pearl” by Clara Schumann. This piece is among the last pieces Brahms wrote. The second is the 4th movement of Brahms’s Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 5 (a much earlier work). This movement is also an Intermezzo; subtitled “Rückblick,” which literally translates to “backward glance.” In these four movements, I explore ideas of looking forward, backward and being in the here and now in time by borrowing from these two “book-end” works from Brahms’s oeuvre.
|Saint Anthony Prayer||Children's chorus [opt. Soprano Solo], SATB chorus, Viola||Choral|
Commissioned by the St. Mary’s Basilica Choir and Fred Colen, St. Paul, MN
|Sherman: Scenes and Celebrations||Chamber orchestra (strings and winds)||Instrumental|
Celebrating the bicentennial Anniversary of Sherman, CT and Sherman Chamber Ensemble’s 20th Anniversary
Premiered August 30, 2002, by the Sherman Chamber Ensemble
|Sinar Surya||Solo piano||Solo Instrumental|
Commissioned by the Renee B. Fisher Foundation for Performers of the Connecticut Young Artists Competition
|Sound Like This, A||Nine-part male voices||Choral|
Commissioned by Chamber Music America for Cantus, Minneapolis, MN
|Spark!||Clarinet, piano and two percussionists||Chamber|
I wrote this piece during a very stressful, transitional period in my life. I thought for a while that I had lost my ability to compose, my ability to be inspired. “Spark!” was the piece that broke through that mental block. It came as a welling-up of energy that I needed to express. It’s about cause and effect, how one thing charges another, and how one sound can ricochet off of another. A tiny spark can create a blaze.
|Spectral Spirits||SATB divisi a cappella with S, A, T, B soli||Choral|
When Donald Nally asked “are there any texts you’ve been dying to set?” I immediately thought of Passings by Holly J. Hughes. Passings was out on a display table at a favorite local bookstore. I picked it up because there was a feather on the cover – and because of the title. I had a feeling I knew what the subject matter would be. When I read, I was drawn in by Holly’s masterful poetry. Each of the 15 poems in her book lovingly tell the story of birds who are highly endangered, extinct, or believed to be gone. This book sat on a table in my living room for a couple of years. I thought maybe, someday, the opportunity would come for me to set some of these gems, and it did in the form of a commission to compose a 30 minute work for The Crossing.
Donald said “I like long pieces” and so, I chose four of Holly’s poems to set – “Passenger Pigeon,” “Carolina Parakeet,” “Eskimo Curlew,” and “Ivory-Billed Woodpecker.” Each of these birds lived in or migrated through or to North America. In addition to her poems, I found treasures in the Forward of Passings ("Take note. These birds are still singing to us. We must listen.") and in the books she references; such as Hope is the Thing With Feathers by Christopher Cokinos.
Having the space of 30 minutes was a luxury. I had room to play with form and to fashion a piece using Holly’s poems as the “pillars” of four musical sequences – creating a ceremony honoring each of the four birds individually. The piece begins with a brief prelude: setting Holly’s words from her Forward. Then, each sequence begins with an eyewitness account of what it was like to experience these birds firsthand, followed by what I call “The Naming,” which names each bird with the formal Latin and various “nicknames” given to each bird. “The Naming” is then followed by Holly's pillar poem.
For about a year, I was immersed in these poems and books by naturalists, ornithologists. I reread Silent Spring by Rachel Carson and articles about our ailing earth. In the course of composing this piece, I fell in love with four species, now gone. Each setting was an emotional sequence of falling in love followed by grief.
Composing Spectral Spirits was as much a study of humans as it was of birds. I found myself asking how human beings managed to destroy these populations. In some cases, populations were brought back from the brink of extinction only to be brought down again. False sense of security, perhaps. Human beings take for granted, forget. Why, if we see something alive, vibrant, with striking color, do we want to possess it to the point of oblivion? Why is it permissible to destroy nature in the name of “progress” or financial gain? In the end: we all lose.
A part of me grieves every day for the state of our planet earth and her creatures. Composing Spectral Spirits was a gift that gave me a chance to funnel this grief. It also allowed me to celebrate the creatures we’ve lost and work to preserve and nurture the ones that still appear in the treetops.
This work was commissioned for The Crossing - Donald Nally, conductor - with generous support provided by John Hawthorn and Danielle Macbeth.
|Splash! Leap!||SSAA and piano||Choral|
Commissioned by the Twin Cities Women’s Choir
|St. Lucia 4:15 a.m.||Tape and variable instruments||Mixed Media|
It is December 21st, 2006, the longest day of the year on the overgrown sand-dunes of Saint Lucia, South Africa. Today, in the triple-canopy broadleaf rainforest on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the sun rises at 4:19 a.m. In order to capture a surround-sound recording of the coming “dawn chorus” of birdsong, our party must be up and in position by 3:45 a.m. Fortunately, African Wood-Owls sound off noisily in our camp before we can over-sleep our alarms. Then, beginning at 4:15 a.m., the drama of sounds unfurls around us. This piece is a collaborative project between Edie Hill and field ornithologist and clarinetist Andrew Lamy.
Co-created by Andrew Lamy and Edie Hill under the auspices of the McKnight Foundation
|Thaw||SSAA a cappella||Choral|
Commissioned by the Twin Cities Women’s Choir
|There Is No Age||SATB a cappella||Choral|
"There Is No Age" is about the power of collective voices and how the coming together of human beings to sing transcends the boundaries of time.
Commissioned by Harmonium Choral Society for their 25th Anniversary Celebration
|Thinkers, Listen!||Open, flexible||Choral|
Funds for this commission have been provided by the Chamber Music America Commissioning Endowment Fund.
|This Floating World||Solo flute||Solo Instrumental|
"This Floating World" is a collection of five musical illustrations of the following Haiku by Basho as translated by Robert Hass. I often use extra-musical material as a means of generating structure and color in my music. The idea of using these elegant images as a jumping-off point was very appealing to me.
For Linda Chatterton
|To A Stranger||Mezzo-Soprano, Baritone, and Piano||Solo Voice|
Commissioned by Adriana Zabala
|True Heart Is Waiting, A||TTBB a cappella||Choral|
Commissioned for Cantus and the Miami University of Ohio Men’s Glee Club, "A True Heart Is Waiting" is about the weight of leaving and coming home, but also savoring the path along the way. I began work on it in 2005, during the early part of the Iraq War, and I was struck by the juxtaposition of the intense sadness of a soldier and his family parting, perhaps forever, with the intense joy of being reunited after a dangerous journey. The piece follows a sea journey and builds to the final voyage home, where “a true heart is waiting” for the weary traveler.
Commissioned by Beth Swailes, Cantus and The Miami University of Ohio Performing Arts Series
|Undercurrents, Echoes and Blue||Two pianos||Chamber|
Premiered April 1989 by Leonard Danek and Dan Sabo, Minneapolis, MN
|Voice, A||SSA a cappella||Choral|
This piece is about searching for your voice. The May Sarton text explores the importance of listening to what’s inside of you and following your muse.
Commissioned by the Cornell University Women’s Chorus under the direction of Scott Tucker
|We Bloomed In Spring||SSAATTBB a cappella||Choral|
The apparent seasons of life and death
but our souls, dear. I will just say this forthright:
we will never perish
For Philip Brunelle and Plymouth Congregational Churchin appreciation for the generous gift of space to teach the Apprentices ofThe Schubert Club Composer Mentorship Program
|We Sing With Heartfelt Joy||SSA and piano||Choral||01:30|
|Wild Wooddove||SATB a cappella||Choral|
When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,
To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but
O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu
She comes with work to do, She does not come to coo,
Commissioned and premiered Acappellago, Dennis R. Smith - Music Director
|Wind||SATB a cappella||Choral|
Read June, 1991 by the Gregg Smith Singers, Saranac Lake, NY
|Windhover||Solo organ||Solo Instrumental|
Commissioned by the American Guild of Organists, Twin Cities Chapter